Miss Universe Canada bows out

Miss Universe Canada Sahar Biniaz of Richmond made the difficult decision this week to bow out of the prestigious Miss Universe pageant.  - Porus Vimadalal photo
Miss Universe Canada Sahar Biniaz of Richmond made the difficult decision this week to bow out of the prestigious Miss Universe pageant.
— image credit: Porus Vimadalal photo

Richmond’s Sahar Biniaz, the reigning Miss Universe Canada, will no longer compete for the prestigious Miss Universe title in December, she said yesterday.

“I didn’t want to be selfish,” said Biniaz in an interview with The Richmond Review.

“I thought this is an opportunity to be selfless and think of the country rather than myself.”

On Tuesday the avid hiker was descending a wet trail when she injured her foot so severely she decided to bow out of the Las Vegas pageant—one of the biggest beauty competitions in the world.

Competing for Canada in Biniaz’s place will be Calgary’s Adwoa Yamoah, the first runner-up in the contest Biniaz won in May.

“I had the choice of going there and knowing Canada had no chance or sending the first runner-up,” she said. “I feel like two of us can fulfill one dream: I got my dream completed by being Miss Universe Canada, and she has her dream fulfilled by competing in Miss Universe.”

Biniaz, a graduate of R.C. Palmer, said she’ll still attend the Dec. 19 Miss Universe final to cheer on Yamoah, who will wear Biniaz’s earrings.

In an hour-long phone call Wednesday, Biniaz told the surprised Yamoah she wanted one thing in exchange—a list of the contestants’ phone numbers. Meeting women from countries around the world, and having a lasting contact with each, was something Biniaz was looking forward to the most.

Biniaz is now on crutches and letting time do its work to heal her foot. She said she’s still Miss Universe Canada, a crown she’ll retain for another six months, allowing her to still bring awareness to causes she’s passionate about while travelling the world.

She’s now looking forward to planning her dream hiking trip—base camp at Mount Everest. She plans to plant a pink flag to raise awareness for bullying, which she experienced in school. Biniaz is also planning to talk to kids across Canada about bullying in an upcoming school tour.

And this week gave her another message to share.

“You have to get right back up,” she said. “This is what life is all about. You miss opportunities, but there’s always another one on its way.

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